Happy 75th birthday, Nescafe instant coffee

File this under “fascinating things I never stopped to think about”: Who came up with the idea for instant coffee?

Nestle didn’t invent instant coffee — British and American inventors had that covered starting in the 18th century — but Nestle apparently made it better. They’re celebrating the 75th birthday of their instant coffee product, Nescafe, this month, and you can read its history in an article in The Guardian Nigeria:

Following the Wall Street Crash and the collapse of coffee prices, the bank had a lot of coffee sitting unsold in warehouses in Brazil.

Nestlé was asked whether these stocks could be turned into a ‘soluble coffee cube’ to be sold to consumers.

Nestle hired a chemist to figure out how to make an instant coffee powder that would maintain the coffee aroma — and it was first sold on April Fool’s Day 1938 in Switzerland. (Read the whole story here.)

Not long after that, instant coffee became a staple for soldiers in World War II, and the U.S. military bought one million pounds of Nescafe in a year.

Nescafe image by Mark Hillary, Flickr Creative Commons.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s